The Heart That Grew Three Sizes- Hope
Pastor Jason Butterick introduces the meaning of hope, as poetry, not prose, in the story of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. In unexpected ways, the story of Christmas is revealed. Not in presents, trees, and festivities or foods, but in unexpected acts of forgiveness and redemption. Through traveling Babylonians and the Holy Family fled to Egypt from Herod's wrath (and terror). What is necessary to tell the story? What is nice, but not essential? How do we see hope in unexpected times and places?
More Than Enough - Enough to Live
Pastor Jason Butterick concludes the More than Enough Sermon series with a scene from the passion of Jesus recorded in the gospel of John. In the midst of Pontius Pilate's interrogation for charges of sedition, Jesus reveals the nature of the kingdom of God: it is not of this world. We can look beyond the present and into the very truth of God's neverending love. We look with hope, anticipate with joy, and listen for his commands. The present rulers and principalities cannot recognize nor stop God's intervention, the kingdom coming into the world. Will we reveal this truth in our ways and manners of living, or search as Pilate does for the truth?
More Than Enough: Enough to Know
Pastor Jason Butterick shares Jesus' last teaching to his disciples before his arrest, trial, and crucifixion. As one disciple admired the architecture of the Temple in Jerusalem, Jesus declares that the entire structure would soon be destroyed. Shocked by this statement, the inner circle of disciples (Peter, James and John) and Andrew seek more information. Not every world event is a sign, and not every self-claiming messiah is authentic. Beware of those who claim to know the times and seasons, the inner playbook of God. Raise no alarm when either natural or human disasters unfold. Suffering will arrive, as it does in childbirth. But it is a season announcing new life, new birth, a new age coming into the world. The temple is doomed. Jesus will return. That is all we really need to know.
More Than Enough - Enough to Give
Pastor Jason Butterick explores Jesus' warning of pretentious scribes showcasing their religion at the cost of widow's houses, and the example of the poor widow at the temple treasury placing her last two coins towards others. Is this about stewardship? Yes and no. It is about motives, and checking whether generosity is at the expense of others or for the relief of others. The amount does not count so much.
More Than Enough Enough to Love
Pastor Jason Butterick shares the encounter of Jesus with a temple scribe. Unlike other encounters with Sadducees, Pharisees, and Herodians, this student of scripture is not trying to trap or test but is genuinely impressed with Jesus' answers to challenges. He seeks to know what Jesus believes is the greatest commandment, the teaching that holds every law and practice together for the Jewish faith. And he gets it. Love God, Love neighbor. With everything you have. If you withhold on one, the other will also be impacted. We will not be known by the rules and practices we think to reveal our devotion to God, but rather by our care of others with our love for God. Are you close to the entrance of living out what you think is a good answer?
Take Up Your Cross Ask For Help
Pastor Jason Butterick concludes Take Up Your Cross with Jesus' encounter of Bartimaeus along the road outside of Jericho, a mere 15-20 miles away from Jerusalem, and the suffering, death, and resurrection that awaits. Unlike the disciples who push away the children and push their quest for glory, honor, and power to seek Jesus' approval, or the young man unwilling to give up possessions in order to receive eternal life, Bartimaeus is willing to leave everything, to plea above the crowd's request and desire to silence him, to ask for mercy and receive healing. Without touch, and through his own faith, Bartimaeus' sight is restored. And we see who Bartimaeus really is: an ideal model of a disciple. Willing to follow without hindrance or claim, title or property, to Jerusalem.
Take Up Your Cross Refocus
Pastor Jason Butterick explores what greatness looks like in the Kingdom of God. James and John on seeking high places in office and request Jesus to grant what they want to be: co-regents, viceroys, or prime ministers. On his journey to Jerusalem, to betrayal, suffering, crucifixion, and death, the disciples want cabinet positions in the Great Messiah of military victory, political power, and prestige. Jesus never stated these as possible, let alone available. James and John's request makes the rest of the disciples indignant: they too wanted to seek position, a pecking order like the great (and resented) Gentile rulers of their land. Jesus says greatness comes not from military might, political domination, or titles and privileges, but service. Service to the point of surrendering one's life, position, and place to serving others as a slave is expected to do. His life will serve as a ransom for others. A ransom for whom, though? For the Devil and demonic forces? For God? For us? Do not act as Gentile Rulers, but as servants and slaves to one another. That is undeniable greatness in the Kingdom of God.
Take Up Your Cross Pick It Up
Pastor Jason Butterick begins lessons in discipleship with the encounter of the young man (who is later revealed as wealthy) who wants to do whatever is needed to receive eternal life. But what is needed for him to receive is trust in God, not his status or things. He is pious, perhaps even considered good by some people. Yet he lacks one thing, generosity to God and others. Wealth prohibits rather than permits eternal life. What are you holding on to that Jesus says must be taken away to receive? Are you willing to let it go to pick up your cross? The young man sadly does not accept Jesus' invitation to follow at the cost of his resources. Will Jesus find you willing to put whatever is between you and God or you and your neighbor in order to pick and follow him?